Using ELECTRE to analyse the behaviour of economic agents

  • Gerarda Fattoruso
  • Gabriella MarcarelliEmail author
  • Maria Grazia Olivieri
  • Massimo Squillante


According to behavioural finance, economic agents display cognitive bias, heuristics and emotional factors that generate preferences which systematically violate the rationality assumptions of the normative model of classical decision theory. Rather than maximizing the expected utility, representing the optimal choice, they attempt to accept a satisfactory solution. Morton and Fasolo (J Oper Res Soc 60:268–275, 2009) outlined some behavioural findings relevant to the practice of multicriteria approach. In this paper, we propose a multicriteria model for analysing some experiments proposed by Kahneman and Tversky (Econometrica 47:263–29 l, 1979). Our aim is to verify whether a multicriteria tool reduces or minimizes cognitive biases. We focus on ELECTRE due to its main features: it accepts the violation of some mathematical axioms. By a simulation study, we represent a set of prospects by means of decision matrices: the prospects are considered as alternatives, the events as criteria, the probabilities of events as the weights assigned to criteria. Then, we apply ELECTRE to verify whether the preference ranking among the alternatives confirms the results obtained by Kahneman–Tversky, that is, whether it is able to describe the emotional behaviours of economic agents.


MCDM ELECTRE Rationality Prospect theory Behavioural finance 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SannioBeneventoItaly

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